At Home With Anna Dorfman

Love the bold walls in this living roomToday, we are happy to welcome Anna Dorfman to the blog to share her lovely home!
Adorable dining room set upLove this mantle"My husband Evan and I (and our dogs, Bruno and Fritz) divide our time between two homes — a rental apartment in Brooklyn, and an 1891 Victorian house in the historic City of Newburgh. Newburgh is about 60 miles north of NYC in the Hudson Valley region of upstate New York. We go back and forth between the two places depending on what our work schedules are like (Evan is a technologist and musician, and I'm a book cover designer), but the house is really our home. We're on a loose, multiple-decade plan with renovations, the pace of which is determined by urgency, time and money. We have no deadlines. And we don't think about resale value, so we try to make sure that everything we put into the house is what we really want. As as result, our house has really turned into a sort of dream space for us. It's not in what you'd call 'the country,' but it sits on a bluff overlooking the Hudson River and is surrounded by beauty—both natural and man-made. Size-wise, our house is about 1,800 square feet. It's a classic rowhouse floor plan on a city lot, with windows at the front and back of the building. We have four bedrooms (one for us, one for guests, one for clothes, one for work) and two bathrooms, plus a small garden in back." The white floors in here are beautifulAdorable bedroom Gorgeous bathroom"I don't like to get to precious about objects, so I'll just say that my favorite find is the house itself. The City of Newburgh has one of the largest historic districts in the country, but it's also a city that has seen some terribly rough times in the past half century. A lot of houses have fallen victim to serious neglect and abandonment. A decade ago, our house was vacant and had plywood nailed over the windows. Somehow, miraculously, our house managed to stay mostly intact as far as original details are concerned. Even most of the original wavy-glass windows are still there! We still have the original plaster walls, all of the fireplaces, the woodwork, the massive front doors. We're very lucky. We feel very much like the house has been entrusted to us. We're here not only to fix what was broken and respect the construction of the past, but to think about the house's future when doing renovations. It's very humbling to live in a house that's almost 125 years old—it was there long before us, and it'll be there long after we're gone. Beyond the house's function as a dwelling, it's also a part of a greater community whose recovery we care a great deal about." Beautiful kitchen At Home With Anna Dorfman"Most of the time it's just us there, but lately we've been trying to be better about inviting friends up from NYC. I love to cook for guests, and now that the kitchen is finally being renovated for real, it's such a pleasant room to be in. We also recently finished our very, very gradual garden renovation, and once mosquito season is over we might actually get to spend some time out there relaxing! Evan has space for recording music, too, which is amazing. The dogs are always so happy and content in Newburgh—they use the entire house for lounging! Above everything, though, I use the house as an outlet for my need to transform and make better that which surrounds me."Darling dressing roomGorgeous light and pops of color"We bought the house in early 2006. And for four years, we lived there full-time and commuted via ferry and train to and from NYC every day. For the past three years we've also rented an apartment in Brooklyn, but we always go back to Newburgh. With the exception of moving walls (something we've deliberately chosen not to do), just about everything inside and outside of the house has evolved to some degree. Bathrooms have been gutted, cast iron radiators and tubs have been sandblasted, bricks have been repointed, walls have been replastered, electric and plumbing work has been re-done. You name it, it's probably happened in our house! The house was a mess when we bought it—a true fixer-upper. I still marvel over 'before' and 'during' photos. We've done almost all of the renovation work ourselves, which is incredibly rewarding. Neither Evan nor I knew anything about renovation and repair work seven years years ago, but these days we're pretty fearless. If we don't know how to do something, we figure it out. We make mistakes and learn from them. We take our time. Right now I'm working on renovating the kitchen, which has been in a sort of 'temporary' (hah!) holding pattern for years. So far I've finished tiling two of the walls, and once we remove the radiators for repair and refinishing, I'll take care of the other two. It's really a wonder to see how far the house has come. I can't wait to see what it'll look like in another seven years!" Anna Dorfmans beautiful homeAt Home With Anna Dorfman via A Beautiful MessThank you so much, Anna, for sharing your gorgeous home with us! You can find more of Anna over at her blog Door Sixteen or over at her design site

Credits // Author: Anna Dorfman, Photography: Ilenia Martini (go check out her site it's amazing!)

  • Luba: The coffee table came from CB2. They don’t have the exact same style anymore, but this one is very similar:

  • Your place is beautiful! Thank you for sharing the pictures. Can you please tell me where did you buy your coffee table. I love it and want the same for myself 🙂 thanks

  • I am not usually a fan of dark walls, but they look really good here with all of the natural light. I LOVE the wallpaper in the bathroom.

  • I love the navy blue wall in the first picture with that rug the whole room just ties together so perfectly! The wallpaper in the bathroom is also so pretty & simple. love it!

  • Shannon: Evan (my husband) is the Technology Director at Domani Studios, an interactive agency based in Brooklyn:

    It’s a little hard to explain what that means unless you’re familiar with the industry, but basically he’s responsible for figuring out technical solutions for brands who hire his agency to build websites. Ask a technologist what they do for a living sometime…you’ll be sitting there all night. 😉

  • omg the claw tub!!! I want to live there for the bathroom!

    love, polly

  • Usually I’m not a fan of black or really dark colored walls, but I think here it works pretty well. Especially the kitchen looks amazing!

  • Stacey: The shelving unit came from IKEA. It’s been discontinued for a while, but the name of the line was ANGA.

  • Kathryn & Christy: The Big Flip clock is by Karlsson. There’s a post about it on my blog with some info about sources:

    Kristie: The dark wall color is ‘Soot’ by Benjamin Moore. It’s very deep, inky blue-black.

  • I am totally in love with the shelving unit in the living room! Would you mind telling me where you got it? I have been looking for something similar for ages! Thank you!

  • Beautiful! What an amazing work of renovation! Fair play to them to have done it themselves!
    I am a big fan of the wooden floors – and there is so much light!

  • Gorgeous! I love all the black, white, and gray. Where did the awesome time/date clock in the kitchen come from?! I’m seriously swooning over it!

  • Oh wow, what a gorgeous space. I love the deep purple in the lounge and the Smiths artwork too 🙂

  • Anna! I love her blog and her home posts!

    Brittanny //

  • That living room is so gorgeous! And that dining room is my dream dining area! <3 Thanks for sharing!

  • What an awesome space! I love the dark walls and open bookshelves and pops of colour! And that bathtub is to die for! 🙂

  • I love the half painted walls, what a great idea!

  • Oh my goodness! What color is that matte navy blue on the walls? So beautiful!

  • Loving the black & white with small pops of color! Especially the matte black walls and the framed Elvis poster. #swoon

  • Cute home, love the neutral and strong color mix like in the kitchen with this yellow sits, very nice!

  • Love! Agree with the earlier poster…would love for you to share with me the source for the kitchen clock. I’m obsessed with clock design and this is one I’ve not seen. Please share how I might get one. Thanks!

  • Great color choices, and I especially love the bathroom.


  • I absolutely adore how bold, yet simple this space is. And the LIGHT!!!!! OMG! The light is so amazing!!!

  • that is one incredibly perfect home. every room took my breath away!

  • Oh wow, I’m obsessed with this house! They have done an amazing job.

  • I was THRILLED to see this post! My family settled in Newburgh and it’s neighboring New Windsor hack when my dad retired from the USAF. To see this wonderful contribution to a city that once commanded the NYC crowd to take a train up to shop THERE, this is a sweet, sweet endeavor to help evolve our beautiful city on the river from it’s difficult last decades to maybe, with more souls like Anna and Evan, return to its former grandeur. Anna’s home is incredible and reflects her heart – making things better than when she found them. So very happy she is part of Newburgh!

  • Wow, thank you for all of the comments about my house! I think Ilenia Martini really is the one deserving the credit — her photographs make it look better than real life:

    To reply to the questions about where some things come from….

    Sarah: The bench (which is actually a VERY bright fluorescent orange!) is by Tom Dixon:

    Katie, Claudia & Rahel: The Big Flip clock is by Karlsson. There’s a post about it on my blog with some info about sources:

    Mei: The kitchen shelves were custom built to size by Blake Avenue:

    Cassie: The bed is from IKEA (the name is ANES, but it’s discontinued) and the zig-zag blanket is from Happy Habitat:

    Hopefully I didn’t miss anything! 🙂

  • Such a great space, love the little pops of colour incorporated throughout their home.

  • Hello my name is Carol. I´m from Germany and I really love your home and style.
    But especially I´d love to know where you got the wall clock in the kitchen from?

  • Wonderful…I’m such a sucker for black and white, especially with the little pops of color. Modern yet elegant. Very nice. I’m in the middle of redoing my laundry room in black and white Thanks for a great home tour! Nicely shot as well. -Marie Vlasic

  • Love the dark feature wall – so effective against the white.

  • Love this home! I really like that it really reflects her own style. Very unique. Very inspiring 🙂

  • I dont think I have ever seen a more perfect house! Almost everything has inspired me.

    The black walls throughout make everything flow. Its just beautiful.

  • It’s gorgeous! A project I hope to take on myself sometime in the future. Love the black feature walls!!!


  • Very very nice house. I also love the pops of colour. Where did you find this nice wall clock?

  • Anna your home is gorgeous and I’m just now looking at your blog for the first time, sure to be a new favorite!! I love your bed both the headboard/bed itself and the chevron…where did you find such lovelies?!!?

  • I always love Anna’s home (and blog and design work) – everything she touches is magic

  • What a stunner! I think this is my favourite home yet. The care and respect for the home and community really shine through. Lovely! xox

  • I love this house! It’s simple and clean but not too clean. Really nice! <33

  • I agree, one of my favourite homes. Despite the dark colours it still seems homely and bright.

  • Beautiful home. I live very near to Newburgh so this one was extra special for me:)

  • Love that white mantel in the first photo! I’m about to paint mine from an ugly dark brown to white. I hope it brightens up the room like the one above does.

  • What a gorgeous space! Those fireplaces are amazing. I love the mix of the vintage building with more modern decor.


  • The house is awesome – I adore the black feature walls. I’m even more impressed that Anna and Even have done all that work themselves! We too bought a “renovator’s delight” and we’ve been tackling it in phases, but it’s a massive time and energy commitment.

  • I am ridiculously in love with this place ! Of all the homes I’ve seen on this blog .. this is by far my favorite ..such amazing style and color blocking. It’s incredible

  • This space is GORGEOUS! Such a great eye for small details.

  • This is beyond my style. Bookmarking this post for my future home-owning self.

    Dana Ivy – Check out my blog!

  • Beautiful! The mix of neutrals (blacks, browns, whites) is very sophisticated! Where did you get (how did you make?) the kitchen shelves? I love those rectangular brackets!

  • I am so jealous of that bathtub, it looks amazing. And the color scheme of the whole house is amazing. That red bench is really cute.


  • Love this! The fire places are amazing and I love the bed/headboard/shelf – such a cool and simple idea!


  • What a beautiful place! I just love black and white walls and decorations, everything it’s perfect 🙂

  • Kate, I answered you on Twitter already, but in case anyone else is wondering about the tree pillows, they’re the work of Elisabeth Dunker at Fine Little Day:

    Thank you for all the kind words about my house! 🙂

  • Stunning!! It’s very homey but also very designed. I love it. I love the contrast between dark and light and pops of color. Those yellow stools in the kitchen? I die.

  • lovely home! love the bathroom, the combination of colors in the house and the whole look of the place.

  • This house is amazing! I can’t believe they did most of the reno themselves. How brave!!

  • Look at that adorable puppy!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I love the living room and the bathroom. Impeccable colour combo and attention to details! <3

  • Mostly black and white interior… I LOVE IT! The fireplace is gorgeous.

  • Okay, stop. THIS IS STUNNING! I love these posts because of all the design inspiration I get from it. I’m in the process of redecorating and love all the ideas in here! Beautiful!

    Get one month of free advertising on my blog!

  • The whole place is like an Ikea ad and I LOVE it!

    xo Ashley

  • 🙂 I need you all to come to my home and re-do everything, haha! Y’all are so talented and creative. This is such a pretty, clean, and inviting little abode.

  • Oh my goodness that house really does look like a dream! I love it!

    xo, Juliette Laura

  • What a sophisticated house! My favorite bits are the white fireplace with the bundled logs and the table in the kitchen! I also love the pops of color in each room! Beautiful!

  • Hi! I’d love to know where your clock in your kitchen is from. It’s awesome!

  • Thank you so much for sharing my house! If anyone has questions about where stuff comes from, feel free to ask. 🙂

    p.s. The beautiful photos are the work of Ilenia Martini.

    • Hi – where did you get your kitchen island from? It’s great.

      Thank you!!

  • I love their living room! What a great bookshelf and a smart way to house the TV.

    Molly @ Mint Atelier

  • Wow! I love everything about this decor! Most people are afraid of black walls… this post shows how it can be used to enhance any room in a home. Thanks for sharing!
    Erica xo

  • I love everything! Where did you get those tree-silhouette pillows? I’ve seen them online and I’m dying to get my hands on some!

  • She has such a lovely home! I love the black and white carpet, and her pets are too cute.

  • I think this is my favorite house I’ve seen so far. So modern, yet rustic and charming and truly a home. I love it! It sounds like such a dream to be in that space.

    I especially appreciated the “not getting too precious about objects” comment, very wise 🙂

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